A few hours after the NBA All-Star Game takes place, the sporting event continues to cause controversy, after the star player, forward LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers called the game “reinvented” by the league and the players union as “a slap in the face.”
The Lakers star believes that after the entire All-Star Weekend, which was to be held in Indianapolis due to the coronavirus pandemic, has been canceled, the game to be held on Sunday, in Atlanta, does not have sense.
Due to coronavirus concerns, the festivities, which generally take place over an entire weekend, will be condensed into a one-day spectacle.
When the league first announced its decision to go ahead with the 70th All-Star Game, some players said they were upset that they considered it an irresponsible decision.
James capped those concerns by calling the All-Star Game Saturday a “slap in the face” for the entire professional basketball family.
During a press conference on Saturday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who has already been criticized for moving the 2020-21 season forward to December rather than waiting until January, responded to questions about James’ criticism. .
Silver, without giving the real reasons that led the NBA to change its programming, threw “diplomacy” and said that “I respect his point of view, but they can be problems that can be solved in the family,” argued the commissioner.
In that sense, Silver confirmed that he had listened to the concerns of the Lakers player and did everything possible to reach a compromise.
Fans will not be allowed to attend the event and Silver says that it should be considered a “television only” event and with the sole objective of continuing to sell the NBA product throughout the world and raise the income from the television rights that are agreed.
“The message within the NBA community is that we are going to be operating in a mini bubble in order to fulfill our commercial commitments,” acknowledged Silver.
He added that “there will be no NBA functions (in which the fans) can participate. We appreciate your support and hope that you will see our All-Star Game on television. This is a television-only event in Atlanta.”
However, everyone around the NBA has gathered in Atlanta and the private parties and entertainment centers are going to be full throughout the weekend.
While in the sports section, if in previous editions the All-Star Game and the contests did not contribute anything, this year it will be even more frustrating to compress an entire calendar of four events into a single night.
James, who has averages of 25.8 points; 7.8 points and 8.0 rebounds in his 18th season as a professional, although he was the most voted by fans, the media and journalists, he already announced that his presence in Atlanta is due exclusively to the contractual “obligation” that has according to the collective agreement to attend.
The Lakers star will once again lead Team James, as its captain, while forward Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, although he was selected as captain in the Eastern Conference, will not be able to play the game due to injury.
It will be the seventeenth All-Star appearance in James’ career.
To eliminate any additional outdoor exposure, the four main All Star events will take place tomorrow night starting at 6:30 pm ET.
The night will begin with the skills challenge and 3-point contest, followed by the All-Star Game at 8:00 pm The slam dunk contest will take place at halftime.